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Choosing the mouth guard that’s right for your sport and recreational activities

Choosing the mouth guard that’s right for your sport and recreational activitiesThe American Association of Orthodontists, the Academy for Sports Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatric

Dentistry, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the American Dental Association

recommend that all children and adults engaging in organized sports or recreational activities wear comfortable,

well-fitted mouth guards that do not restrict breathing, resist tearing and are easy to clean.

Organized sports include, but are not limited to, football, wrestling, basketball, baseball, volleyball, ice and field

hockey, softball and soccer. Recreational sports include cycling, inline skating, skateboarding

which the face could come in contact with a hard object, another person or the pavement.

Types of Mouth Guards:

There are three types of mouth guards available: or any activity in


 I I l_ Description I I

Custom made from a full-mouth impression taken in the. dentist’s/dental. specialist’s office and.  sent to a dental lab for fabrication.

 I Pros _ I I

Provides the most. protection and comfort.  Covers all teeth and. cushions the jaw.

 I Cons

More expensive than.  commercially-made.  mouth guards.

No interference with.  speech or breathing.  Adjustable for all sports.

Mouth-formed or. “Boil-and-Bite”

Boiled in water for a. period of time and then.  formed to the teeth by. applying pressure.

Cost effective.

Available from. department and sporting

goods stores.

Provides better. individual fit than stock

mouth guards.

Tend to wear quickly. and may need to be

replaced during the. sports season.

Difficult to speak and. breathe.

Stock or commercial. mouth guards

Rubber or polyvinyl and. sold in small, medium or. large sizes.

Sold in major. department and sports

goods stores.  Inexpensive. Cannot be modified to fit. the individual‘s mouth.

Least effective in terms. of protection. impairs breathing and. stays in place only when. mouth is closed.

To get the most of your mouth guard, you’ll need to take proper care of the device. Wash it in cool soapy

water and rinse it off well before and after each time you use it. For even better protection against germ

build-up, brush the guard with a toothbrush and toothpaste before and after every use. Also, don’t chew on

the mouth guard, don’t wear removable retainers with your mouth guard, and do replace your mouth guard

when it shows signs of wear and tear.

Because different sports involve different levels of risk and potential injury, talk to your dentist or dental specialist

before selecting a mouth guard that meets the needs of your child’s recommend the best mouth guard for an athlete who wears braces. specific activity. An orthodontist can

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